CellScope Parent Tales: Macaroni Shells & Cheese

One of the many perks of working at CellScope is having the Oto at home to be able peek inside a friend or family member’s ears whenever they suspect discomfort. However weird that may seem, it’s a handy tool to have around. Many of our CellScope team members are also parents, and they share and empathize with the common parental experience of wondering: “Is it an ear infection?”, “Should we call the doctor?”, “Does he need to go to the ER?”

Crockett, one of our esteemed software engineers and parent of three, emailed the team with such a great story about using his Oto at home that we knew we had to share it with our readers.

We asked Crockett and his wife, Amy, to recount their story for us, and this is what they had to say:

Amy: “It was my sister who first noticed something in my four year-old son’s ear. After she pointed it out, I looked in his ear and definitely saw something in there.”

Crockett: “I grabbed my trusty Oto and asked him if I could get some pictures of his ear. He told me that was Ok, so I took a video and then shared it with him. It looked like a piece of shell macaroni was stuck in his ear.

I tried using tweezers to remove it but had no luck, and by this time my son was getting upset. He was scared about going to the doctor, so we sat together on a window sill to discuss whether to let daddy try to get it out or go to the doctor. He finally made the call that he could be brave and go to the doctor.”

Oto 2014-06-04 1457-54 Right Ear 1 (1)

What’s in that ear?


Amy: “I took him to a pediatrician near us. She tried unsuccessfully to remove it – finally acknowledging they just didn’t have the right tools for this job. Then we went to an ENT who was finally able to remove it, and the ‘macaroni’ turned out to be a piece of styrofoam!

From showing the ENT the CellScope video she could tell the previous attempts to remove it had pushed the object in deeper. She recommended that next time it happens we should send her a video taken with the CellScope Oto and she will get us in the same day.”


We all know kids do the darndest things, but we were still curious to know why he decided to stuff styrofoam in his ear?

Amy:He said he put the stuff in his ear because church got too loud with all of us singing around him. The pediatrician asked him what he was going to do next time, and he said he would cover his ears with his hands.”

What a clever little boy; it’s perfect four year-old logic to stick whatever is around in your ear to block out the noise! It’s very tempting for parents to try to remove something that is visibly stuck inside the ear canal, but we strongly advise against trying to remove it yourself.

Here at CellScope, we are often guilty of taking our work home with us, but in this case, it turns out not to be a bad thing at all. A big thanks to Crockett, Amy and their son for sharing their story with us!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s